Audio: The Vatican Goes Green

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The Holy See has embarked on a new mission: the fight against climate change. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI announced that Vatican City would strive to become the first carbon-neutral state. Although the Vatican’s plan to purchase carbon offset credits fell through, the sovereign city-state has harnessed the power of the sun with solar panels and a solar generator, and has also made progress with energy conservation efforts. Pope Benedict has added a religious element to the climate change debate by framing the issue as a moral imperative.

To discuss these unprecedented efforts, Need to Know’s Alison Stewart spoke with Mark Hopkins, an energy expert with the United Nations Foundation who has 30 years of experience in energy policy and program development. Hopkins toured the Vatican’s new energy efficient facilities last year.

St. Peter's Basilica is seen in the background of a solar panel set up on the roof of the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican. Photo: Evandro Inetti/Zumapress.comSt. Peter’s Basilica is seen in the background of a solar panel set up on the roof of the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican. Photo: Evandro Inetti/Zumapress.com

This podcast was produced by Need to Know as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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